The first season of Bridgerton is the pinnacle of silence, which I mean as a compliment. With the fake relationship setup more familiar in comedy than in real life, and the NSFW’s deft combination of less-inhibited lust and love scenes, it’s no surprise that this series has made the whole world of Netflix subscriptions went into a frenzy.
By comparison, the second season feels a bit older and wiser. Their leaders this time have a higher attitude (if similar to stubbornness about denying their true feelings for each other) and their concerns are a bit more relative, leading to a relationship. deeper and more stable romance. But it’s hard not to miss, from time to time, the transcendent giddy of that first season.
A sophomore season is less sexy, but almost as sweet.
Following the basic pattern laid down by Julia Quinn’s book series, host Chris Van Dusen primarily delivered the first season’s central couple; Phoebe Dynevor’s Daphne only makes a few supporting appearances, while Regé-Jean Page doesn’t appear at all. Instead, the show’s attention is turned to the next Bridgerton in line to find a suitable partner: eldest brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), a handsome 29-year-old with a prestigious family and fame. The title of viscount made him a highly sought after product. .
Determined to aim for nothing less than perfection – because, by reason, that’s what a family legacy entails – he has his eye on Edwina Sharma (Chaithra Chandran), a sweet-faced newcomer to considered this year’s “diamond” (i.e. the most eligible bachelorette) by Queen Charlotte herself (Golda Rosheuvel). But first, he’ll have to win the consent of Edwina’s protective sister, Kate (Simone Ashley), who makes no secret of her disdain for his pompous, lackluster manners. It doesn’t take a genius to sniff out the inevitable enemy arc from there.
Among the more impressive accomplishments of season two is that it makes Anthony a worthy romantic lead, after the first season where he became a tempered chauvinist. A heartbreaking backstory that does most of the heavy lifting – it’s hard not to feel for a guy after you’ve watched his father die in his arms in flashback – and curbs the his arrogance as the protection of a man anxious to be brought into leadership position too young. Bailey’s stiff stance and sad eyes do the rest, turning Anthony into a variation on the beloved Mr Darcy archetype, right up to the steamy white shirt scene at the end of the season.
Kate’s story mirrors Anthony’s own story. She is also the self-sacrificing eldest child of a widowed mother, and plans to put up with the hectic life in Bombay after Edwina’s marriage. (In one of the show’s more graceful nods to on-screen diversity, Sharmas carry with them Indian traditions like the pre-wedding haldi, even as they master the intricate rules of London marriage market.) Bridgerton standards, it’s a surprisingly solid basis for a relationship. Stripped of fancy robes, polite manners, and Vitamin String Quartet pop covers, and the core idea of two closed-minded people bonded together through past traumas could be the foundation. basis of a naturalist Sundance play.
Overall, Bailey and Ashley’s chemistry seems more even than that of their predecessors. They are not an instant physical connection but a meeting of minds, played out through quick-witted arguments outside the ballroom and malevolent rivalry in a family-friendly game of shopping mall pall. Bridgerton present Bridgerton, which eventually translates into intense sexual tension. The couple kissed almost but not quite so well that when they locked lips for the last time, I quickly mistook it for a fantasy scene. But the flip side of a connection built on mutual lust is more than Bridgerton season two lost much (no other way to say it) of the rampant horror that made season one so enjoyable to watch.
At eight episodes, an average of over an hour per episode, BridgertonSeason two can feel more like a marathon than a fun run. As with the previous installment, the storylines surrounding the central romance proved to be a mixed bag. Penelope, revealed last season as the curator of anonymous gossip column Lady Whistledown, remains one of the show’s loveliest characters thanks to Nicola Coughlan’s stellar performance and determination. Queen Charlotte’s new quest to uncover the writer’s true identity gives the season a tangle of intrigue.
On the other hand, Bridgerton is still grappling with the question of where to put all the other Bridgertons until it’s their turn to find love in some future season. Benedict (Luke Thompson) gets a drug-fueled side story about art school that feels like a blatant excuse to throw some naked bodies onto the screen. Colin (Luke Newton) literally wanders around the parties and wonders aloud about his purpose with an amorous Penelope.
And while the series once again tries to inject some modern social relevance into the show’s posh place 19order– the central setting – this time with a storyline about Eloise (Claudia Jessie) befriending a man (Calam Lynch) from the wrong side of town, and thus being forced to take into account her prerogatives – the The program’s overall treatment of class and race continues to be defined by better intent than effective execution. Better, really, just appreciate that it’s great that the romances of the Age of Kings are no longer supposed to be the only white province.
But whatever it stumbles upon in other areas, Bridgerton continues to nail it in one area of greatest interest – its central romance. Kate and Anthony may not have the same burning fleshly connection as Daphne and Simon in season one, but their story strikes another, almost equally satisfying itch. Time will tell how many more love matches Netflix executives have enough patience; Although Quinn’s source material spans eight books, one for each Bridgerton, there’s no guarantee Van Dusen will follow the same blueprint. Meanwhile, season two supports the reputation season one earned for delivering a mellow, romantic love story.
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